The Road Ahead

July 01, 2019

Geri Richmond It is my honor to serve as Sigma Xi president for the coming year. With the enormous global challenges facing our planet Earth and its inhabitants, it is crucial that we all do our part to further the science and engineering enterprise in this country and around the world. We all have a role to play as parents, teachers, researchers, policy makers, and community advocates. Data-driven decision making is our scientific creed, and it is up to all of us to practice that skill as well as to engender it in the next generation of scientists.

Sigma Xi chapters are a unique and powerful presence that, in unity, can transform how scientific research is perceived, understood, and valued. I am committed to strengthening, growing, and revitalizing chapters that have been waning and will also work to increase the number of members who have no chapter affiliation over the coming year. We need every voice to speak for research, both basic and applied, and to articulate the devotion that we share for scientific inquiry.

I will be discussing the importance of both social and intellectual diversity in ensuring the most innovative and impactful science and ensuring that the views of all involved are welcomed and their voices heard. I will also be speaking about another passion of mine: educating younger members about the myriad career paths available to those in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

With the pervasive use of technology in our lives, we need scientists in boardrooms, in policy-making positions, as journalists, and as entrepreneurs as much as we need those in what we used to call the traditional academic career path. We also need to be more proactive in communicating science to the public, being strategic in following our scientific passions, and growing our networks to include those in less-developed countries.

With the theme of Our Changing Global Environment: Scientists and Engineer Designing Solutions for the Future, Sigma Xi’s Annual Meeting will be held November 14–17 in Madison, Wisconsin. We are already organizing some great symposia with phenomenal speakers, including Vint Cerf, widely known as a “father of the Internet,” and National Public Radio science correspondent Joe Palca, who will interview Cerf and also give a talk on science communication. So mark the dates on your calendar, and come be a part of this annual celebration.

I look forward to the year ahead as we work together to make Sigma Xi and the global scientific enterprise the best it can be.

Geraldine Richmond
Sigma Xi Fiscal Year 2020 President 
(Term: July 1, 2019–June 30, 2020)

More About Sigma Xi: Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society is the world’s largest multidisciplinary honor society for scientists and engineers. Its mission is to enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science and engineering, and promote the public understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition. Sigma Xi chapters can be found at colleges and universities, government laboratories, and industry research centers around the world. More than 200 Nobel Prize winners have been members. The Society is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. On Twitter: @SigmaXiSociety